Storm Singing and other Tangled Tasks

Storm Singing and other Tangled Tasks by Lari Don

Book: Storm Singing and other Tangled Tasks by Lari Don Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lari Don
quietly, and Helen had to strain to catch each word, but it didn’t seem to have the sense to keep completely quiet. “Yes! Girls! But which one has the necklace? Maybe I should just drown them all ?”
    “It’s going to attack them! We have to stop it!” Helen took a step forward.
    “No!” Lavender hovered in front of her. “We can’t let it know we’re here, or we won’t be able to follow it to its meeting.”
    “But we can’t let it attack the scouts.”
    “I know. Let me think.”
    Helen watched as the sea-through laid the sack and globe down by the tent, and reached inside, its tentacles unwinding.
    “Lavender!”
    “I’m thinking …”
    “Stop thinking , and do something, or I’m going to whack it on the head with that driftwood.”
    So Lavender muttered some soft words and flicked her wand towards the tent. Suddenly there was a giggle from the tent. Then another. Two different high-pitched giggles. And someone said sleepily, “OI! Who’s doing that!?”
    The sea-through jerked back out of the tent. The giggling got louder, and so did the questions. “Who’s … ha-ha … who’s doing that?” “It’s not me … hee hee … please stop!”
    The sea-through lurched away from the tent, dragging its sack and lantern behind it.
    “What did you do?” asked Helen.
    Lavender whispered, “Tickling spell. One of my cousins is an expert at them. I’d been saving it to use on Yann. Come on. Let’s follow it to that meeting.”
    So Helen and Lavender followed the glow of the sea-through’s lantern, out of the dark campsite, into the night.

Chapter 14
    “Ouch!” Helen tried to keep her voice down, but Lavender, floating a few metres ahead, snapped, “Shhh!”
    “It’s your fault my feet hurt,” Helen muttered. “You made me take my shoes off.”
    They were following the sea-through’s sickly green light along the grass above the shore. Then the light changed direction. “It’s going down to the sea,” Lavender whispered. “We won’t be able to follow if the meeting is underwater.”
    The light wavered and stopped halfway down the beach. Helen could feel round pebbles under her feet as she and Lavender hid behind a rusty boat trailer, watching as the sea-through placed the lantern on the stones. The light glowed through its purple toes and the wriggling tentacles round its ankles. It dropped its big sack, and pulled out the driftwood.
    “Back to the wet arms of the sea.” The sea-through looked huge in the low-down light, whirling a lump of driftwood round its head and throwing it out to sea. With splash after splash, it threw branches, planks and roots out into the deep darkness.
    A voice growled out of the night, “Collecting toys for the sea again, cnidaree?”
    “Selkie. You’re late.”
    “Better late than obvious, like you sneaking about at our feast. What a ridiculous idea, trying to speak to me there. At least this is private. Though if you make too much noise playing with your toys, we might gather an audience even here.”
    “I’m not playing. I am performing my sacred duty. Just as I am part of the bloom, so this wood is part of the sea. I don’t ask a reward for doing my duty. Unlike greedy seals, who take from the sea, then demand rewards for giving something back.”
    “You are just throwing litter into the sea. You do not even know if the sea appreciates it.”
    “Don’t question my sacred duty! You selkies, half-land beings that you are, can never understand.”
    The selkie chuckled under his breath. “You have a landform too, cnidaree, or how else could you be here, breathing air, talking to me?”
    “We’re granted this disgusting half-human shape so we can leave the sea to retrieve what belongs to the sea. We don’t enjoy it. We don’t sing and dance about it like selkies do. But if our equinox plan succeeds, the sea will be able to seize back so much more than we can ever carry.”
    As the sea-through chucked one last piece of driftwood at the waves,

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